Summary Of Matt Ridley's Immortality

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In the chapter titled, “Immortality,” Matt Ridley discusses the idea of the immortal cell theory. He presents some case studies as well as his own speculations. To began, he explains how the origin of the first cell is still alive in us today and although this is true it does not mean our species will live forever. The function of our life and all life is to reproduce but to get to that we have over came many challenges. On Chromosome 14, the presence of the TEP1 gene seems to be the source of the long lived existence of life on earth. TEP1 codes for a protein that part of telomerase, which is inherently important for the immortality of cells in the human body. At the end of every chromosome, there is a section of repetitive nucleotides sequence called telomeres. The TEP1 …show more content…
The immortal cell theory is an interesting concept, but as we all age we know that it is only a theory. Eventually, cells senesce along the lifetime of every species. Longer telomeres are not useful if the body decays as we get older. Telomerase seems to be not only the cause of longer lives but also, increased decay. In the parts of the body that divide more, such as skin cells, breast tissue and white blood cells, we see cancer is more common. Research has shown that cancer requires telomerase to be active to create tumors. There are many research studies on the effects of telomeres and telomerase on cancer. Almost all tumors samples, have been know to have telomerase activity present. From this knowledge, researcher have used telomerase activity to confirm some types of cancer. Researcher like Helen Blau, are using telomerase studies to find new approaches to prevent and treating disease like cancer and other disease that increase with aging. In 2015, she found a temporary but effective approach called the transient effect which modified RNA to reduce the cell’s immune

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